Nutrition lays the foundation for everything you do in the gym. Without a good diet, your progress with fitness and body composition is limited.
Improving your dietary habits is vital to overall health and fitness. You can transform the way you feel, perform, and look with a healthy diet and a better understanding of your relationship with food. The hard work you put in at the gym can either be enhanced or negated by what you ingest.
Nutrition shouldn't be about following a "diet." Proper nutrition is a lifestyle. Trying to eat healthy can be overwhelming, complicated and discouraging; but we've witnessed the powerful impact nutrition can have. Keep it simple and begin by gradually incorporating the following 3 things into your daily eating habits:
1. Reduce and eventually eliminate sweetened (and artificially sweetened) beverages such as soda, diet soda, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened coffee beverages. Keep alcoholic beverages at a minimum.
2. Eat REAL food:
(things without labels)
Reduce or eliminate processed foods from your diet (chips, cookies, crackers, granola bars, cereal) Decrease consumption of other refined carbohydrates such as breads and pasta.
Include healthy fats in your diet (nuts, avocado, coconut/olive oils)
3. Cut out snacking
Avoid "grazing" all day which keeps blood sugar elevated and causes a continued insulin response in the body. Read The Perils of Snacking.
While we know it may sound simple, we also know it is NOT easy to eat well day in and day out. Don't expect perfection! Make small, gradual changes and allow yourself occasional indulgences. Don't rely on the scale for indication of change. Take measurements of your waste and hips, notice how your clothes fit, and be aware of improvements in your energy level (*when first making changes to your diet, you may go through a week or two of feeling sluggish, tired, extra hungry----be patient, it gets better!) Also... come to the gym! Among many other benefits; exercise helps keep our appetites in check, builds muscle which increases our resting metabolism, and keeps us motivated to eat better.
Listen/watch the following videos for more information.